Philippine senator Grace Poe allowed to continue presidential bid by Supreme Court

Philippine Senator Grace Poe will be allowed to run for president, after the country's Supreme Court barred Election Commission officials from disqualifying her.
Philippine Senator Grace Poe will be allowed to run for president, after the country's Supreme Court barred Election Commission officials from disqualifying her.PHOTO: AFP

Philippine Senator Grace Poe won a lifeline on Monday (Dec 28), allowing her to continue her bid to become the Philippines' 16th president, after the Supreme Court barred poll officials from disqualifying her, for now.

The seven-man Election Commission last week ruled that Ms Poe, who tops surveys on who Filipinos prefer as their next leader, was not qualified to run for president.

It determined that the 47-year-old daughter of a Filipino movie icon, being a foundling, was not a natural-born Filipino.

The commission had also concluded that Ms Poe had not been a resident of the Philippines for longer than 10 years since she returned from the United States in 2006, where she had lived for most of her adult life and became a US citizen in 2001. She renounced her American citizenship in 2010, after she was appointed head of the government censor board.

The Constitution requires a minimum 10-year residency for those running for president.

The commission said it will comply with the court order. Ms Poe's name will stay on the ballot, its spokesman said.

It had earlier given Ms Poe five days to secure a court order that would allow her to stay in the race, or her name would be struck off the ballots, effectively ending her run.

The senator, long rumoured to be an illegitimate child of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has been unsuccessful in trying to locate her biological parents.

She was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a church in Iloilo city 620km south of the capital Manila. She was later raised by Philippine movie icons Fernando Poe Jr and Susan Roces.